New WCO training material on well-being and stress management for Customs’ senior executive: embedding a well-being culture within the Customs Administration

10 April 2023

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, the health and safety of employees were at the top of most Customs administrations’ agendas, and their protection trumped most other concerns. The pandemic has created a growing demand from employees for their organizations to enhance their services in the area of staff well-being. As a result, Customs administrations must hence initiate or deepen their efforts to embed a staff well-being culture at work, not only by measuring staff engagement levels, implementing effective work environment design and offering psychological support but also by promoting efforts to raise awareness across the organization of the importance of employee well-being. This approach will help promote staff well-being at work and, ultimately, improve individual and organizational resilience and performance.

In this regard, in order to support its Members in this journey, WCO organized in a hybrid format a Global Human Capital Management Conference on the theme: Well-being at Work – Taking Care of our Human Capital, from 10 to 11 October 2022. The conference demonstrated the need for Customs to embed a focus on employee well-being into their day-to-day operations and processes, culture, and leadership through a holistic programme.

As part of the outcomes of this conference, and to support Members in effectively designing and implementing a holistic and valued well-being programme and building staff and organizational resilience, WCO is delighted to announce the development of a state-of-the-art set of practical training materials on staff well-being and stress management. This training material aims at equipping senior managers from Customs’ operations and support areas with competencies, tools, and methods to effectively implement a holistic well-being programme and build their staff’s and organizational resilience. This material has been developed with the financial support of the WCO-SECO GTFP programme.

The new training material is intended to supplement relevant tools and instruments developed by WCO to promote a people-centric strategy among its Members. Specifically, this material aims at building effective staff well-being and resilience programmes to foster Customs resilience in the “New normal”. To this end, the material will be used as part of the capacity building support provided to WCO Members in the area of Human Capital Management and Development. The five days and a half days workshop will cover six topics, namely: (i) happiness retreat, (ii) designing a holistic organizational well-being programme, (iii) building staff and organizational resilience, (iv) Mental and Physical Health, (v) social well-being and work-life balance, and (vi) stress management.

As this material has been endorsed by CBC 14 delegates, the WCO Secretariat will be piloting it with interested Members, and looks forward to developing a dedicated pool of experts/facilitators to support the delivery of the training material to embed a culture of well-being within Customs Administrations. In addition, the WCO Secretariat intends to develop further training material targeting other organizational layers, namely: mid-management levels and frontline officers.

For more details on this training material and the WCO people development programme, please contact: